Your first holiday as a family is a big deal to new parents. It’s stressful to organise, to pack, to travel. But what happens if your baby is unwell on holiday? We are on our first family holiday this week, it’s a big deal to pack up enough stuff for a whole week for a 7 month old baby and ourselves. This is why we chose to do a staycation in Kerry as opposed to a holiday abroad. If you could see how loaded up the car was, you would understand why! But this is not a holiday review, I’ll do that one soon though. After 2 days, baby becomes unwell on our holiday. I couldn’t believe it, this baby has never seen the GP apart from his 6 week check and his injections. He’s had a few headcolds since he was born but that’s about the height of it.
A bit of a runny nose and teething all week before the holiday was no big deal. I made sure to pack the following: neurofen, calpol, saline nasal spray, snuffle babe, calgel and teetha granules. I had prepared myself for a bit more interrupted sleep than usual. But I had optimistically packed his swimming gear in the hope to make the use of the hotel pool.
The first day was fine, we went out for a bit of a drive and sightseeing, baba was grand, just a bit snuffly. We take turns at nights so I was on that night. No bother until midnight, then he woke and nothing would settle him. He had neurofen going to bed so gave him some calpol and calgel for his teeth. He cried and cried. All the usual tactics – into the carrier, rocked in my arms, into the bed with me, changed the nappy. It felt like hours and hours. Thankfully we are in a house on the hotel grounds as opposed to a hotel room. I literally felt like I was up the whole night but it was more like 3 hours: midnight – 3am. He would nod off, I’d put him into the cot then 2 minutes later the wailing would start again. I’d pick him up again, walk him, he was crying, I was crying, it was the stuff of nightmares. Then my husband felt sorry for me and he took over – of course baba then slept from 3am – 7am! I do not know how people cope with continual sleepless nights, I would lose my mind.
We went out touring the next day and I knew we were in bother as the day went on. He was crying in the car when he would usually sleep, he looked pale and had green discharge from both eyes. Now this was a Sunday on a remote part of the Ring of Kerry. It was a struggle to even find somewhere open to buy myself a chocolate bar. So it felt like some divine intervention when we came across a sign for South Doc in Cahersiveen.
In we went, no phone call, no appointment and they couldn’t have been more lovely. The doctor was on his way in to see another patient so we had to wait maybe 20 minutes. He looked at him, examined him and confirmed he had inflammation in his ears, a mild temperature and prescribed antibiotics. Then as it was Sunday evening with no pharmacy around that was open, he gave us the antibiotics from the medical centre supply and everything was free with the GP Under 6 Medical Card. So for all the complaining we do about our health service, sometimes we need to give praise where praise is due. I just thought they were brilliant.
3 days later and baba is in great form, the antibiotics are working well but we will keep going until they are completed. We’re having a fantastic holiday even if we do have to skip the swimming pool.
So here’s a few tips on what I think is needed when packing for baby (for either staycation or holiday abroad):
- Calpol or some form of baby paracetamol and baby Neurofen
- Thermometer (I didn’t bring one and will never make that mistake again)
- Teething gel – I use calgel which works great for us
- Plasters – didn’t need them but you never know
- GP Under 6 card, just happened to have it in my purse, very useful. For travelling abroad get the European Health Insurance card – it’s free
- Your own travel cot and mattress – more about that in my holiday review
- Cot sheets x 2
- Baby scissors (we found it really important with the ear infection to keep the nails very short as he kept fussing with his ear)
- Baby carrier as well as buggy
- Baby towel
- Clothes – in Ireland you can never be sure of weather so we brought lots of vests, light and warm trousers, socks, long and short sleeve tops and a light rainproof jacket. Layers are key. And babygros for sleeping. We also had a washer dryer in house which got lots of use and was great that we could bring clean clothes home instead of bags of dirty laundry
- Heavy and light grobag
- Cellular blanket
- Bibs and muslins
- Some toys
- Nappies and formula (but these things can be bought in most places)
- We also brought his walker which was handy around the accommodation as he’s at the stage where he’s pulling himself up on furniture so this helped prevent falls. Obviously not an option if you’re flying!
Let me know if I have forgotten anything you think is essential. Happy holidays